Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/497

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popular, liberal party in Spain the Mexican clergy clung to his cause, with the hope of a reaction to the old system; but when the news reached them of his adoption of the liberal constitution they immediately threw their whole influence into the cause of the insurgents in an attempt to establish a separate government, with the idea of inviting the bigoted Ferdinando to cross the Atlantic Ocean and accept the crown.

About this time Augustine Iturbide came prominently into notice, and before the people, although of Aztec Indian blood. He has, since 1814, been swayed entirely by the church party, and had thus figured in various positions in command of a small detachment of regular forces. He had carried on an unsparing warfare against the insurgents; as, for instance, of his cruelty, he (Iturbide) stated in one of his despatches to the viceroy in 1814, that he, in honor of the day of Good Friday, had just ordered three hundred excommunicated wretches to be shot.

This boasting and cruel order Iturbide afterwards deeply regretted, and gave liberally to the suffering poor.

Upon the clergy changing sides, Augustine Iturbide became one of their strongest adherents, and while in command of a small force on the western coast, in 1820, where he had been sent to proclaim the absolute authority of the King, here he espoused the insurgent cause, headed the force, and, being very popular, the people flocked to his standard, and, as already stated, marched on to the city of Mexico.

Thus, the insurgent revolutionary movement was entirely successful, as most all the movements for the overthrow of any established government have been in Mexico when the clergy, or more in plain words, the Catholic priests, have directed the revolutionists.

"Oh, when shall the millennium come! When shall peace and goodwill prevail through this land of Mexico?" Answer, "Not until liberty of conscience and religion is allowed, and the Bible, the text-book, be permitted in the hands of the people."